Hardwood floors are beautiful, but are they hard to maintain? They’re far easier to keep up than some other options. For instance, carpeting is much harder to clean because dirt gets down into the fabric and it can be tough to completely remove without a professional cleaning—which can be costly. If you have allergies, hardwood floors are ideal for keeping the area clean and free of dander, dust, and other known allergens.
So, can you keep your floor looking brand new? Yes and no—there will be scratches from everyday use. You can’t avoid that, unless you never walk on the surface, but you can guard against too much wear.
Preventing and Minimizing Scratches
Here are some good ideas to help you prevent wear and scratches.
- Pets – Pets will scratch up your hardwood floor. They can’t help it, especially if they’re young and energetic. An easy solution might be to keep your pet out of the rooms you’ve just had floored. Barring that, you might consider putting down throw rugs to protect the space.
- High Heels – High heels or sharp heeled shoes will cause scratches on your floor, especially if walked on regularly. We recommend having guests take off their shoes at the entryway. Other solutions might be runners or throw rugs over the area to minimize damage.
- Furniture – Do not drag furniture across a hardwood floor. Fully pick it up to avoid scratching the surface of your floor. You should also apply felt pads to the bottom of any piece of furniture that sits on your hardwood floor to avoid scratching from the pressure of use.
Hardwood Flooring Maintenance and Cleaning Your Floors
Some people will recommend age-old methods for cleaning your hardwood floors, along with all the newest products and contraptions to hit the market. We never recommend using a vacuum or steam mop. We also do not recommend oil soap or waxes.
There’s a specific reason for this: oils and cleaners are made for older wood floors where the finish is wearing off. With a new wood floor, these cleaners will leave a residue that can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove. There’s no reason to use them on a newer wood floor and they can, in fact, be damaging. As far as steam mops go, they look like the perfect solution on the infomercials. Of course, you need to realize that the infomercials are trying to sell you something.
Steam mops add moisture to the floor and your wood floor will soak that up and expand. People who don’t know a lot about how wood reacts might look at the floor and think it’s not wet because there’s not a noticeable amount of water—but the water is inside the wood! Remember, to keep a wood floor in optimal shape, you want to guard against humidity. Using a steam mop is the same thing as infusing your floor with humidity.
People have been using vinegar and water for many generations. What we find is that this can be misused. Overuse of water can damage your floor over time. Too much vinegar will eventually affect the finish.
We recommend using a Bona Cleaning Kit. It is the best, most user-friendly product we’ve found so far to keep your floor in its finest shape.
Want more information about hardwood flooring? Contact us to get a free quote on your wood flooring installation today!